Building your brand
People purchase a product or service from you because they know, like and trust your business. Sales people often use their skills to help a prospect know, like and trust them as an individual. Most will do this naturally during the sales process. Marketers on the other hand, often forget the importance of know, like and trust.
How do we get to know, like and trust a brand?
Initially someone will judge your brand on face value. Yes, that's right, they want you to look good, sound good and have a reputation. They may also judge you on the way in which they came into contact with your brand. Was it a referral from a friend or colleague, an advert online, a mention on a social networking site or a press article?
Each contact you have with that person will slowly build their perceptions of your brand. The key is to build a common brand perception and solidify it over time.
Now you've got the 'know' and 'like' parts sorted you'll need to build trust.
Keeping in contact with people is vitally important. Too little contact leads a customer to feel isolated. This isolation can mean they question your motives when you do contact them. Do you only email when you want something?
Knowledge can also have a major impact on trust. If your business is perceived to be an expert in its field, you'll immediately create trust. You can show off your knowledge through newsletters and regular contact with your customers and prospects. This returns us back to 'knowing' your brand and so the process starts again.
We must ensure that our customers continue to know, like and trust us. We also need to show them that we value the relationship and continue to remind them of our brand values. Customers like to know what to expect and the best way to build expectations is through consistency of appearance and message.